What is medical surveillance and how to ensure you get proper treatment?

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What is medical surveillance and do you need it?

Medical surveillance is a medical examination for individuals who have recently arrived in Canada and have been diagnosed with inactive tuberculosis. The purpose of the examination is to confirm that the condition has not worsened and become active tuberculosis. Medical surveillance is mandatory for those who were deemed to have inactive tuberculosis during their immigration medical examination. The aim of this check-up is to ensure that prompt treatment is provided, safeguarding the health and safety of the Canadian population.

Note: At present, medical surveillance is only required for individuals with inactive tuberculosis.

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria. Someone with active TB in the lungs and throat can spread it to others through coughing and sneezing. TB is treatable.
You may not know if you have TB. You may not have any TB symptoms, since inactive TB doesn’t make you feel sick. While you may not have active TB now, you may still get it at some time in your life.
Signs and symptoms of active TB may include
– prolonged fever
– prolonged cough
– coughing up blood
– sweats at night or afternoon
– constant tiredness
– loss of weight and loss of appetite

Cases in which you need the medical surveillance

  • on your immigration medical exam, an IRCC physician assessed that you have inactive tuberculosis and you’re already in Canada, or
  • you’ve been contacted and informed you need medical surveillance by the Public Health Liaison Unit of IRCC

An assessment of inactive tuberculosis means you may

  • have had tuberculosis in the past
  • have a latent tuberculosis infection
  • have been exposed to tuberculosis bacteria

Medical surveillance is important to

  • ensure that your inactive tuberculosis hasn’t progressed to active tuberculosis
  • help connect you to the health care you may require to manage your inactive tuberculosis
  • ensure you receive proper treatment should you develop active tuberculosis in the future

The medical surveillance process

You can disregard any document instructing you to report to the provincial or territorial public health authority in Canada within 7 or 30 days of arrival if it was given to you at the port of entry. Instead, you only need to furnish Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with your contact details once you have obtained a permanent address and phone number in Canada.

Medical surveillance depends on the results of your immigration medical examination (IME), which may have been a requirement for your immigration application process. If the results of your IME indicated you have inactive tuberculosis, you will need a medical check-up with a physician once you arrive in Canada. This is called medical surveillance.

Make sure IRCC has your contact information in Canada

IRCC needs your contact information in Canada to start the medical surveillance process. It’s possible you didn’t have that information when you submitted your application. Once you have your contact information, email it to the Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC at IRCC.MHBSurveillance-SurveillanceDGMS.IRCC@cic.gc.ca. Include the following information:

  • full name
  • unique client identifier (UCI) number
  • phone number in Canada
  • email address
  • home address in Canada
    • apartment number (if applicable)
    • house number
    • street name
    • city
    • province
    • postal code
    For example:JOHN JONES
    10-123 MAIN STREET NW
    MONTREAL QC H32 2YZ

The Public Health Liaison Unit will give the provincial or territorial public health authority your contact information. The public health authority will get in touch with you for an appointment.

Wait for the public health authority to contact you

The Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC will tell the provincial or territorial public health authority nearest to you that you’ve arrived in Canada.

The public health authority is responsible for arranging your medical surveillance appointment. Each public health authority has its own procedure and timeline for managing these appointments. It’s possible that it may take months for them to contact you. Please be patient and know that they have your information and will contact you.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of active tuberculosis, please see a doctor as soon as possible.

Attend your medical surveillance appointment

Once the provincial or territorial public health authority contacts you for a medical surveillance appointment, make sure you attend. Once you’ve had your appointment, the public health authority will inform the Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC that you’re in compliance with your medical surveillance requirement. The Public Health Liaison Unit will email you within 2 months to confirm this.

Note

If you had an immigration medical examination inside Canada and were seen by a tuberculosis clinic, you may not need medical surveillance and may not be contacted by the public health authority. If this is the case, the public health authority will notify the Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC that you’re in compliance with your medical surveillance requirement. The Public Health Liaison Unit will email you within 2 months to confirm this.

If you received a notice of non-compliance with medical surveillance

If you received an email notifying you of non-compliance, this means that you haven’t complied with the medical surveillance requirement associated with your immigration or visa application.

Medical surveillance is a condition of your status in Canada. You must complete your medical surveillance requirement as soon as possible. If you don’t, it may have a negative impact on any current or new immigration applications to Canada. For example, your Canadian citizenship application could be delayed until the provincial or territorial public health authority confirms with IRCC that you’ve complied with the conditions of your medical surveillance.

If you’re having trouble completing your medical surveillance requirement, or believe you’ve completed it, email the Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC.MHBSurveillance-SurveillanceDGMS.IRCC@cic.gc.ca. Include your full name and unique client identifier (UCI) number in your email.

How you know you’ve completed medical surveillance

You will know that you’ve completed your medical surveillance if

  • you had your medical check-up and the Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC informed you that you’re in compliance with your medical surveillance requirement, or
  • you had an immigration medical exam inside Canada, you were seen by a tuberculosis clinic, and the Public Health Liaison Unit informed you that you’re in compliance with your medical surveillance requirement

Note

Your public health authority may continue to follow up with you about your health condition. You must follow their instructions as you are also required to reach compliance in their records.

If you leave Canada

If you leave Canada, and you haven’t been contacted by the provincial or territorial public health authority yet, or you haven’t completed medical surveillance, here are the things you should do:

If you have questions about medical surveillance

If you have questions about medical surveillance, you can

Keep your information up to date

Contact the Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC.MHBSurveillance-SurveillanceDGMS.IRCC@cic.gc.ca if you’ve changed your Canadian home address, phone number or email address. Make sure you provide your full name and unique client identifier (UCI) number in your email.

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